Thursday, 9 June 2011

Really? This passes for Parliamentary Research?

Well, well, well, look what I've found!!

After weeks of asking and several Freedom Of Information requests, I've finally unearthed the "assessment" the DWP did into Time Limiting ESA!! Clearly I use the word assessment in much the way ATOS do. In other words, pick a policy and then write some stuff that proves what you want to say.

Just in case, in the very unlikely event that you are not an uber-geek like me and you can't stay awake long enough to plough through 16 pages of fairy stories, here's a quick summary :

-It overwhelmingly affects the poorest most. The % impact falls from the highest in the 1st decile of earnings to the lowest in the 10th.
-It estimates that 60% will simply switch to income based ESA and not be affected. This is absolutely ridiculous, pie-in the sky rubbish. I have absolutely no idea how they can make this claim.
- The report concludes that over the term of the parliament 90% of those placed into the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) will be affected.
-ALL groups will lose income on average through this measure.
-It is based on an assumption that 50% of claims will be appealed!!! How are they able to go forward with a system this inaccurate?
-The report itself claims that 700,000 will be affected by the Time Limit - a figure previously hotly debated, ranging from 400,000 to 1 million. It is expected to cut benefits for those not fully fit for work by 1.2 billion per year.
- The report acknowledges, just as I've been warning, that this is a disincentive to work and may push couples into divorce or into giving up on work altogether. However, they admit that they have no idea how significant this will be.

Possibly the most astonishing part is the claim that the Social Impacts did not need to be investigated, neither under the categories of Health and Well-being, Human Rights or the Justice System. (It does go on to say that an equalities assessment was carried out, which I will do my best to unearth)

As far as I can tell, the research is deeply flawed, based on inaccurate assumptions, incomplete and surely, illegal. If you discount the assumption that 60% will simply move to income based ESA, which I believe is just not true, it is a damning look into what passes for parliamentary research in our so called democracy.


  1. Hampton Priciples?,

  2. Sorry its in the above link

  3. We wont exist at all out of the system off the books call it what you like. Where do they get those numbers from i know plucked out of the air. It really is time to say goodbye to planet earth

  4. sue we have to realize and I've said it before and will say it again. All of the people who write out these policy's on our behalf are just evil and wicked we must stop kidding ourselves otherwise
    From Hitler in the war years to today in many parts of the world including the UK the evil intents on the vulnerable are still there and always will be

  5. i agree fourbanks why do they not consult the disabled afetr all we can be realistic as well.

  6. The 'Evidence Base' section seems to be full of bald, unsupported assertions. This is insane, and would certainly never pass muster academically.

  7. BTW did you here Duncan Smith on world@one referring to people on the dole living in houses that cost £100,000 in benefits.

    That was after he said he has never demonised benefit claimants

  8. I wonder how many people on the dole are claiming £100,000 in housing benefits, apart from the duke of york's offspring that is.

    Could Duncan Smith provide the numbers?

  9. Tris - Off the top of my head, it was a few hundred - something like 600?? And they could only claim these numbers because households included several working adults on quite low incomes, ie 4 earning 25k who could not move out and afford other accom.

  10. I told them at consultation stage that if benefits are limited to a year I will not be able to get married/cohabit. I'm not the only one. Way to add to the housing problem. They can't say they haven't been told.

  11. @Myself

    However, having just turned that over in my head, of course they *will* say that they haven't been told. In fact I dare say they'll be utterly bemused by any suggestion otherwise. Scumbags.

  12. I have sent off letters today to those who sit on the committees of the DWP reform policies and have asked them to look in on sue's blog which daily highlights our concerns and hopefully at least one of them will do so
    I have also spoken to Dr Rowan Williams office to do likewise as he is concerned as much as we are
    IDS says he is off the mark well he is not and in politics you need to be truthful and be seen to be trusted and IDS is not that and never will be

  13. That's great Fourbanks, thank you!! The more people that tell them, the harder it is for them to ignore us.

  14. Sue - equality assessment -

  15. sorry sue - here is the revised ea - april rather than march -

  16. Fiona - Thank you so much for that. I don't seem very good at finding these things.

    I'll read it when I dare - these things are often so dismaying I have to work up to it, lol

    Still recovering from my disgust at the Time Limiting debate.

  17. [QUOTE]Sue Marsh said...

    That's great Fourbanks, thank you!! The more people that tell them, the harder it is for them to ignore us.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks sue the only problem i have is that over the past few months i have written so many letter I've lost count and regret to tell you i have had not one reply
    And i doubt i ever will such is their closeness to each other the labour and conservative party

    As for this being a country with Democracy I'm not even sure the government even knows the meaning of the word

    I have never known this country's Democracy in my 55 years and people i speak with have never known it either
    Free speech yes Democracy never human rights only if you can afford them they don't come cheep

    The only thing this country does effectively is to attack someone weaker than themselves be it another country or a sick or disabled person and they couldn't care less on how many lives are lost in the process there is always another mug waiting to join up to fight but fight for what ?

  18. This country cant even get the very basics of decency put together like equal equality for women i could go on to name hundreds more but there would be no point because if you cant get equality for women becoming law then you have nothing as a country to start off with

    Its no wonder we have more then a million people in this country tied up with drink and drugs I'm surprised it's only a million as the elderly people i look out for tell me all the time I'll be glad when the good lord calls me

  19. I honestly think there should be some sort of 'statistical/evidence police' who research claims that politicians, papers and think tanks make and are legally able to force an apology if they are dubious.

    Actually, it would inevitably be biased to whichever government were in. But maybe something should be done.